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Several hundred Romanians, including a numer of priests, joined a protest against the introduction of electronic health cards, which some describe as satanic.
Almost a thousand people rallied on Thursday in front of the Romanian parliament to protest against the introduction of electronic health cards as a threat to freedom - and to people's souls.
“Card de sanatate, atentat la libertate," (“The Health Card, A Danger for Liberty”) was the main slogan of the protesters.
Several speakers, most of them priests, voiced concerns that introducing such documents was an attempt “to control people’s lives”, as they allegedly contain too much information about the holders, making it easier for the state to wield control over them.
Meanwhile some protesters sadi they perceive the plastic cards equipped with microchips as fulfillment of a satanic prophecy in the Bible.
“The document contains the word 'CARD', which read right to left means 'DRAC' ('Devil' in Romanian),” one protester explained.
“We have to reject this card, as the only real way of obtaining healing is by prayer in any case,” he added.
The protest was organized by the “Justice and Truth” organization.
The electronic health card, mandatory from January 1, include basic data about the holder: his or her name, health insurance number, as well as medical information.
The card allows authorities to check whether the person holds medical insurance or not, as well as offer information to specialists about medical data.
Patients will have to give their approval for their medical data to be uploaded on the card: contact person for emergencies, blood group, whether they are organ donors and whether they have chronic diseases.
Similar protests, more directly supported by the Romanian Orthodox Church, occurred in 2009 when the first passports with biometric identifiers including fingerprints were issued.
Church backing for causes and protests is important in Romania. The Orthodox Church, which has enjoyed a revival since Communism fell in 1989, remains the most trusted public institution in the country. More than 85 per cent of country's population of 21.5 million belong to it.
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